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“Blood money.” That’s what Tracey Alvino calls Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $5.12 million payday for his book touting his pandemic “leadership.”
Alvino’s dad, Daniel, was one of the 16,000 nursing-home residents who died after being infected with the coronavirus following Cuomo’s March mandate that forced COVID-contagious patients into the state’s most vulnerable population.
It’s an apt description of a possibly unprecedented payout for a serving elected official, who wrote the book with the seemingly illegal help of government staff while he and his aides spent months going to great lengths to cover up his edict’s deadly results.
Cuomo revealed his $5.12 million contract for “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic,” previously thought to be $4 million, when he released his tax returns ahead of Monday’s deadline. He received $3.12 million last year, garnering $1.54 million after taxes and $117,000 in expenses, and is set to get another $2 million in the next two years.
The gov vowed to donate a “significant portion” of his windfall to charity, yet he gave away just $500,000, to the United Way of New York State — a tenth of his total pre-tax proceeds. And he took a tax break for the gift, deducting $300,000 of it this year and $200,000 to show up next year.
Cuomo should give all the money to charity. He profited off a pandemic made worse by his own policies — and covered up his malfeasance as he wrote the book, keeping his reputation intact long enough to ensure a big payday.
Crown Publishing ceased promoting the tome and canceled plans for a paperback version in March when reporting revealed his top aides had rewritten the state Health Department’s whitewashing report to conceal the true number of nursing-home deaths. The Post broke the news that top Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa told lawmakers they’d hid the numbers to keep them from the feds, who are now investigating.
In April, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli asked Attorney General Letitia James to investigate whether Cuomo had used the “resources of the state for personal purposes” after staffers revealed they worked on the book. The gov’s office claimed their efforts were voluntary — but young staffers said they never got the impression they were allowed to say no.
Making more than $5 million while bragging about his “leadership” of a state that saw the nation’s second-highest COVID deaths per capita — Andrew Cuomo truly has no shame.
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